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Amsterdam news in brief: Google Trike, U2, American Hotel robbery, and more

DutchAmsterdam.nl — News from Amsterdam in brief:

Google Trike

Next month, Google goes Dutch as it will collect photographs of tourist attractions by bike.

The pictures will be used in Street View, a feature that allows users of Google maps to see a 360 degrees photographic view of streets and sights.

The photographs are primarily collected by car, but the special photo equipment has also been adapted for use on a custom-built tricyle. The Google Trike can reach places where cars can not go.

Google’s Netherlands division will have use of the bike for one month. Aside from biking through parts of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, the photographer will also visit tourist attractions and special sites throughout the Netherlands.

Last March Google Maps unveiled panoramic streetsviews of nearly all streets in Amsterdam and surrounding towns.

Shot fired during hotel robbery

A shot has been fired during a robbery at the American Hotel at Leidseplein on Sunday morning.

The robber threatened personel and a hotel guest, underlining his demands by firing the shot.

The criminal escaped, with a sum of money, by bike. He has not yet been caught.

U2 in Amsterdam

Irish rock band U2 in Amsterdam tonight and tomorrow night.

The concerts are part of the group’s 360° tour, highlighting U2’s latest album, No Line On The Horizon.

Inexpensive parking in Amsterdam

Responding to a wave of bad publicity in response to a international survey that shows Amsterdam’s parking rates to be among the most expensive in the world, City Hall is attempting some damage control by pointing out you can park for less money outside the city’s center.

For instance, Amsterdam has five P+R (Park and Ride) spots along the A10 freeway. They cost €6 per 24 hours, and drivers get a maximum of 4 free public transport day passes. One P+R is located at just three stops from Amsterdam Central Station.

The city says parking in the center of Amsterdam is expensive on purpose in order to discourage people from driving their cars into the centuries-old historic city center, which wasn’t built with cars in mind.

Amsterdam also wants to profile itself as an environmentally-friendly city. It currently ranks fourth on a list of clean cities in Europe.

Flyer against hemp farms

Police in Amsterdam Oud West (OldWest) have spread 23,000 flyers door-to-door asking citizens to be alert for signs on illegal hemp farming in their neighborhood. It is part of a year long campaign highlighting the dangers involved.

In Zuidoost (Southeast) a family had to leave their apartment on Sunday, when it was flooded due to a defective sprinkler installation of a hemp farm in the apartment above theirs.

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This post was last updated: Sep. 25, 2011